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Advice needed from real-world users

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by twigg, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    We have an older USSC Forester Insert. It is working well, but it's location leaves a bit to be desired.

    The stove is in a fireplace, vented into a masonary chimney on an outside wall. We would like to heat the whole house fairly evenly, and this is not a good place.

    So we are making changes.

    The walls around the dining room have been removed to leave a large open kitchen/diner, about 27ft x 17ft. This opens on one side to the living room, and on the other side to the bedrooms. In total, around 2000 sq ft.

    We are buying a new stove. It will be in the dining room (right in the center of the house, and a chimney stright up through the ceiling and roof. All of that is easy. I checked with the County. No permits required, no inspections, just follow the manufacturers recs. for a listed stove, and you are good to go.

    We are considering the following stoves:

    Harman Oakwood
    VC Encore NC
    Englander 30-NC
    Englander 13-NC

    Top preference would be the Harman, but we are compromising a bit, and will probably go with the Englander.

    My question is simply this: Is the 13-NC big enough. I have been leaning towards the 30-NC, but worry a bit that it might be a bit too big.

    Thoughts, anyone.

    tia

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I am an "otherly world" user, but I will pipe up anyhow.

    Go with the 30, I thing you are looking at too much sqft for the 13. The 13 may be able to do it, but you will be running it hard with shorter burn times. Get that 30 and let it cruise.
  3. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    Agreed on the 30. Bigger is better. It's a lot harder to get more heat out of an undersized unit than get less heat out of an oversized unit. With about 2000 sq. ft, you aren't going to cook yourself out with the 30, anway, unless your house is REALLY tight and insulated.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That is a huge range of stoves both in cost and looks. But I would go simple and large. Could you narrow it down a bit? What is your aesthetic preference and budget? Will the stove be burning 24/7?

    If cast iron, also look at the Jotul 600, the Quadrafire Isle Royale, Hearthstone Bennington and the Pacific Energy Alderlea T6
  5. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    heh .... I thought I did narrow it down with the list of 4 in the OP.

    We wanted the Oakwood. It's big enough, has a great reputation, and looks nice. It's also about $2800 when we add in all the features we wanted.

    The Englander is not unattractive and is less than half price. Go figure.

    The advantage of the Englander, aside from cost, is simply that we would lose little if we later wanted to swap it for a cast iron stove. We both thought that the enamelled Burgundy VC Encore NC, with matching Stove Pipe was gorgeous .... but the Englander can be had for the cost of the Encore Stove Pipe.

    We are prepared to spend money when needed, but we are not wealthy, nad the Encore, for example, could have been a very costly mistake.
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Forget the Oakwood, IMHO...
    42K BTU (INPUT) won't do more than half of what you wanna heat...
    You'll need a bigger unit...something around 80K input
  7. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    I would recommend the 30 as well from the simple observation that most of the time bigger is better when it comes to stoves. We have a Lopi Endeavor which is a plate steel stove with a 2.2 cubic foot fire box. In mildish weather (20s-30s), it does really well. But when we dig into the teens or lower, it struggles to keep 1,800 sq. ft. really warm. My grandmother has the Lopi Liberty, which is the big brother to our Endeavor. She's heating approximately the same square footage, and the Liberty holds/throws heat longer. If I had the room, we'd have gone with the bigger stove, but my space/layout limitations dictated the Endeavor.

    I'm not one to badmouth a particular company, but please do some searching and reading concerning Vermont Castings. You'll find some that love 'em, and some that hate 'em. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. But it's my understanding that they are having/sorting through some quality issues right now.

    If you like that enamel finish look, consider something like a Lopi Leyden. The Leyden uses a "down draft" technology to achieve secondary combustion. This process is a little different, but it is my understanding that the latest revisions of the Leyden have most of the bugs sorted out. I'm not sure what year they made the changes, but someone here can probably chime in with that information.

    I've read almost nothing bad about the Englander line of stoves here, and to me that is a comforting thought. They seem to truly produce a quality product at a very competitive price.
  8. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    We are in Oklahoma. Generally the winter temps are around 20s to 30s, but they do dip below that occasionally. We still have full central heating available should we need it, although I would prefer that it stays off.

    The Leyden was high on the list too, I like it. I also did a bunch of reading about VC. It's mixed and much of the criticism is a little dated, so who knows. I hope they have fixed the issues with the firebox, but I don't need to eta-test their recent models :)

    Like you, I see that Englander are almost universally praised. We are on the same page :) Thank you.
  9. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    As a side note, you can get an englander 30 for as low as $500 right now with the lowes/HD closeouts going on. Just need to talk to a head honcho type rather than a sales floor person. Mention that you saw one at another lowes for around that price.
  10. oilstinks

    oilstinks Feeling the Heat

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    IF i had it to do over i would have gotten the 30 just for longer burn times. I love my 13 but its fire box is smallish to get real good overnight burns for me, but hey im new at this so maybe i can squeeze some more time out of the burns with experiance.
  11. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    Think twice about the encore....trust me! They're not for everyone ;-) They need a near perfect setup for optimal operation.
  12. Tree farmer

    Tree farmer New Member

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    I know you came up with four other models but I will second the "take a look at the Lopi" don't have one but my relative is the local chimney liner expert and sees a lot of stoves, and owns a Lopi. I asked him what he sees and hears for the best stove quality and heat producer - Lopi was his answer. Just my 2 cents.
  13. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I don't have any advice on the stoves you are looking at but just as reminder. In OK, your stove is only going to be a piece of furniture for almost 8 months of the year. Make sure you buy something you are going to like looking at for the next 20+ years.
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the Harman Oakwood would have any problem keeping up with 2000 sq ft in OK. And it also has great looks and a grill and rotisserie option that is just plain awesome. It may take a little longer to pay itself off than the Englander but it will pay for itself and look better doing it.
  15. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    So far this winter it would have been used evenings in Octoer, most of the day in Nov. ..... All day in December and Jan, with some overnight burns. Feb and March can get very cold.

    We won't make the savings some Northern States manage, ut we don't have their heating bills either.

    There are other benefits. The stove, by it's nature, will keep the house warmer than we could afford with natural gas plus .... a wood stove is nice, dammit!!!

    :)
  16. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    We love the Oakwood. Purely from a *which stove do you love the most* point of view, we would order one tomorrow.
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No stove looks better than the 30-NC. Ask me. Ask my wife. Phone a friend. :coolsmirk:
  18. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    I believe that I was asking the audience :)
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    But I am a native Texan and you know that we never miss an opportunity to pick on an Okie. :lol:
  20. twigg

    twigg New Member

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    Heh .... I'm English :)
  21. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Lopi Liberty, the better version of the 30, by far.
  22. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    You're preaching to the choir there brother!
  23. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    Is the Oakwood a downdraft or tube system? I think I read somewhere here that one of the Oakwoods (downdraft) were as sensitive as the everburn VCs.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    twigg, your eyes want a cast iron stove but at heart you're willing to go with a steel stove. The PE Alderlea series combines both together in one stove. I would try to see an Alderlea and judge for yourself. If you want the best of both worlds, it's a good place to start. (No PE doesn't pay me. Wish they did :)).
  25. dante2

    dante2 New Member

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    Hello Twigg. What part of Oklahoma are you in? We just got the Summer's Heat nc13 for our 1400sqft home and the weather has turn around to the warm side. Go figure.
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